Sunday, September 17, 2006

"Infallible" Pope Makes Mistake, Issues Sorry "Apology"

I am not one easily offended, and especially not going to allow just anybody's comments about any topic drive me to burn buildings, kill people, etc.

I have great respect for my Christian (non-crusading Bush-loving Bible-thumping, Iraq-bombing celebrating) friends, and nothing but kind words for my alma mater, and Catholic teachers like the late nun Sister Mary Frances of St. Paul's High School, Karachi, Pakistan. They serve more Pakistani people than all the mullahs combined. And, I feel sympathy for the position of anger and risk they must now face. But, let's start at the beginning.

I had found the previous controversy about cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in Danish newspapers just beginning to die down (though on average I get several new readers of my piece on the topic every day) when this "infallible" Pope (who if I recall correctly was a member of the Nazi organization!) had to stir up a hornet's nest.

These were comments by the POPE, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, more than one BILLION people.

Unlike comments against Islam or Muslims by small-time low-life bigots with big-sounding positions, like Tunku Varadarajan (who liberally uses the power given to him my the Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot), apparently a Hindu of Indian-descent, who regularly inserts anti-Islam comments and obviously bigoted anti-Muslim comments into whatever he can manage to write (even if he is writing about the game of Cricket or that piece of work bigoted Oriana Fallaci!), or the ugly and despicable Mortimer Zuckerman, a parasite of American business who influences American media and policy to align American policies with Zionist needs, or many others like that. {On a separate note, I have personally discussed Tunku's REGULAR Islam bashing and bigotry problem with Paul Gigot via email and in person but it seems he couldn't care less how Muslims are maligned regularly on the editorial pages of the Journal. Tell me I am wrong, Paul Gigot.}

We found out some interesting things from this episode.

One, Apparently the hypocrisy exhibited by the defenders of "free speech" cartoonists (who kept quiet when a British historian was IMPRISONED for questioning or denying the so-called holocaust) has shifted South from Denmark to Rome. This Catholic Church was the one that started Crusades, spreading Christianity on the blade of the sword, spilling blood in the name of Jesus Christ, raping, pillaging, burning alive people, yet seems to be the one commenting on whether Islam (which CLEARLY states for all to READ, "there is no compulsion in religion") was forced upon people by the sword.

Two, the supposedly "infallible" Pope can make mistakes by opening his big Nazi mouth.

Three, the Pope is supposed to be some sort of special agent of God --- after all, he decides what Christians can or cannot do in their daily lives, even what they can or cannot believe. Yet, news reports show that the Pope is not supposed to be writing his own speeches but some sort of committee decides what he should say... This is the first time a major religion has a whole committee directly working with God. No wonder God had to take on three forms just to deal with the extra work. I am impressed. We Muslims only got ONE Prophet to get the message from ONE God, and even that via ONE angel (Gabriel). Damn these Catholics, they got to have God get cloned into three, have a man (Pope) have direct connection with God over the past 2000 years AND now have a whole committee that must be talking to angels or God directly. No wonder they have no time to deal with such petty matters as pedophile priests.

Four, and this is most interesting, the Pope can learn to manipulate the language better than Bill Clinton could. The Pope issued the sorriest excuse of an apology I have ever seen in recent world events. He has expressed regret at the reaction of the Muslims around the world, and that is the key. He did not apologize for what he said. He did not regret his implied or stated meaning, He regrets how people reacted to him. So, I can say Hitler was great, and did a great thing with his concentration camps, and if Jews are mad at me, I can express regret at THEIR reaction, without taking back my own words.

In any case, in my humble opinion, the Nazi Pope was dumb to have said what he said, and dumber if he believes people should or will fall for this apology. Muslims who reacted to his stupidity with attacks on churches are even more stupid.

I do not think the Pope asked Christians to bomb mosques - rotten, evil, vile, dumb, dog-bearded, chanting, repugnant, hell-deserving, so-called Muslims (in Iraq, Pakistan, etc.) do that on their own, thank you very much.

The Fuehrer Pope did not ask America to start bombing Iraq that had nothing to do with 9/11 or anything --- God's other local representative His (Ass)Holiness George W. Bush did that on his own with guidance from Zionazis like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, with encouragement from idiots like Pat(hetic) Robertson. So, burning churches or (if it was related) the murder of a nun is not just dumb, but evil, murder, also.

Let us leave that work to the POPE - Protector of Pedophile Evildoers.

Heil Pope!



Zhinker said...

I had been wondering why many people were still unaccepting about the Pope's supposed apology. Don't know how I missed that.

Thanks for the update.

Anonymous said...

"The Feuhrer Pope(sic)"

The Pope had no choice about what organizations he belonged to during the Third Reich. Had he, as a child tried to publicly quit the Hitler Youth, he would have suffered much the same fate as someone who publicly tries to leave Islam in Saudi Arabia.

They are burning churches in the West Bank because of the Pope's remarks. Are they not making the Pope's point for him?


Zhinker said...

I was just reading the New York Times and it said the the Pope wrote his own speech and others in the vatican just proof read it or something.
You said "news reports show that the Pope is not supposed to be writing his own speeches but some sort of committee decides what he should say." Could you please tell me where you got those reports from?

Anonymous said...

The Pope thinks that he can utter any non-sense and get away with it.In India a news channel has quoted the pope as doing this in the pretext of wanting to start a frank dialogue.The person who thinks that islam has spread by force, what kind of frank dialogue is he aiming for? or is he trying to divide muslims and christians by misusing his SO CALLED EXALTED position? Does christianism preach that? Pop goes the POPE.

Imran Anwar said...

Wow. This blog item has generated hundreds of readers and many comments, including offlist ones directly. Only a few on the blog were rejected from Christian zealots :-) ... so much for tolerance of opposing views. LOL.

Quick responses to the above. The previous Pope DID make a choice to NOT sign up with the Nazis. This one had the same choice and chose the Fuehrer over Christ, I guess.

Reference the committee question, it was in one of the stories I read on Yahoo news, so not sure which wire agency it came from. Apparently, this Pope's speeches were NOT written or vetted by a committee, which means the ones of previous Popes were. AND, they are discussing internally how to ensure he does not shoot off his mouth again. Though God's voice heard through him should not need a committee to review. :-)

While I have lost respect for this Pope (not that I was a fan of his Nazi AND Extreme fundo ways) I do not thinkn suggesting violence againt him is correct. He did NOT encourage or ask Christians to attack Muslims. People like Bush do that under jerks like Pat Robertson, who believes one day the JEWS of Israel have to be converted forcibly to Christianity so Jesus can come back. Would be ironic to see some Zionist take him out when he is there for his real estate business deals.


Zhinker said...

Some times I wonder how much we might be underestimating people (I know I've been commenting a lot on this post but I've been thinking about it a lot).

I went and read the full text of the Pope's speech, and overall it seemed like a perfectly reasonable call to religion, and maybe, possibly a call to discourse. Except, of course, for a very offensive, biggoted and ignorant quotation at the beginning of it that supposedly is supposed to initiate an invitation to talk about religion, even though I'm sure there are countless other quotes he could've used that wouldn't have been anywhere near as offensive.

Now that glaring incongriguity from the rest of the essay got me wondering exactly why he decided to use those exact quotes. I guess from a non-muslim perspective (in which the world doesn't already have the false image of your religion as blood-thirsty and barbaric), that quote, though possibly uncomftable, really isn't that bad. Espeically since there are plenty of people in the west that claim Islam really was spread by the sword.

Of course the Pope knows better than that, but here's where I start wondering about how farsighted and insightful he is. It's pretty much a sure bet that if there's anything that could be considered even somewhat controversial about his speech, the media's gonna highlight it, and the Pop's quotation definitely fell under that category. Knowing that the word was gonna be spread, the Pope deliberatly put it in because, especially after the Danish cartoons incident, he could pretty much predict what the Muslim reaction would be, giving him more credibility and further lowering Islam's image in the world.

I got the idea from a book I was just reading about the history of al-Qa'ida. According to it, in '96, before Osama came to power, he wrote a 12 page document denouncing America and tried to convince people to struggle against it. However, it being such a huge document and hard to distribute, only a few people saw it. So al-Zarqawi convinced Osama to declare jihad against everyone in the West (innocent civilians included, something Osama did not agree with at first) because knowing the Western media, they would take that radical two line declaration and would give it better press coverage than he could have ever managed otherwise.

What are your thoughts on it?

Frances Billano said...

I am a Catholic, and ever since Pope John Paul II's death I have been worried over the Cardinals' choice for his replacement, the former Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict). He's more of an auditor than an experienced schmoozer. I've been terribly nervous that he'd be misunderstood or misquoted the minute he started "touring". So when I heard of this terrible PR faux pas on his part, I couldn't help but think, "Ah, damn it, the amateur. I told you so! Will somebody please get an outsourced PR consultant to mop up the mess..!"

But more than anything else, I am also grateful to the Muslims who HAVE at least accepted the Pope's apology, even though it may not have been sufficient enough for their taste. (I mean, how many political or religious leaders even THINK of saying anything close to "I'm sorry" to offending Muslims, eh?!) It's not easy being Pope in a modern, cynical world. It's a fucking thankless job. (The job description includes the requirement to be "infallible", for Pete's sake -- try being that for one day and see if you like it!) The world today is so much trickier for leaders who deal with global mass communications. One naive, foot-in-mouth stupid move can anger millions of people. I sincerely hope the current Pope learns from this mistake, and that others are also COMPASSIONATE enough to withhold their final judgement on his character, at least till he's done with the on-the-job training.

Imran: Since I am Catholic, I am VERY, VERY used to hearing non-Catholics insult my religion, and having to keep silent instead of lobbying for a fatwa. (It comes with the territory, LOL.)

However, if I may make a request: please give more thought before penning your angry-American-immigrant-stream-of-consciousness rant towards the other religions. They may not be as tolerant as Catholics. They may even (gasp) charge your religion for being disrespectful of women's true feelings towards the definition of marriage and male fidelity, hmm? (You'll have a hard time wiggling your way out of that accusation, I can tell you that.)

Actually, I think your ranting persona is just noise to get us all to notice you and write stuff in your blog. And it's working, dude, congratulations! Just be careful you don't start sounding too much like an American Muslim Chris Rock on steroids.

Imran Anwar said...

Very good analysis, Zhinker :-) . Probably a little bit of both things at work, but not well thought out, since even with his sorry un-real insincere "apology" the Pope did lose some face in every quarter.

Very bad analysis, Frances :-) (ref. male fidelity etc. - I'd rather have Muslim mullahs have four wives than Christian pedophile priests raping little altar boys) . Ref. religion-bashing... The only people who hear me rant and rave about other religions is when they take cheap pot shots at Islam, I merely then show them a mirror. As we have discussed separately, it is difficult being Muslim to criticize or insult Jesus or even Virgin Mary, who are revered by Muslims (sometimes even more than Christians!). Thanks for your regular and great comments, as always.



Anonymous said...


In the spirit of fair play, are you not offended by those holocaust cartoons from Iran and be demanding an apology to the Jewish people for such behavior.


Imran Anwar said...

When did the Iranians or any Muslim make cartoons calling Jesus names or showing him as a child molesting pedophile Jew or Christian priest? Why should I be offended by someone making cartoons about some so-called holocaust event - questioning which can lead a historian into jail in free speech loving Europe. Ha.


Imran Farooq said...

zhinker- your post about the media's reaction to things such as the pope's speech and Osama Bin Laden was a great contribution to the dialogue. I think that is a very interesting point and something that I think we tend to overlook.

Although the media is not perceived to be as powerful as it once was (e.g. Hearst when the media could start wars between countries) it essentially still is. Bush definitely thinks the media has a lot of influence. The White House seems to be more concerned about the negative press that the war on Iraq is getting then to actually try to maintain more diplomatic relations with the international community. Just recently I remember reading about an AP photographer being jailed indefinitely without charges so he can't even defend himself for what they 'believe' that he has improper ties to insurgents.

Imran Anwar said...

I couldn't think of a better time to have watched "V For Vendetta" which I just finished watching at nearly 3 AM. What a great movie. Thank God there are still people in Hollywood, and the media, even "unusual" people like the Wachowski (spelling?) brothers (makers of the MATRIX movie trilogy) and others who are making those very points.


Imran Farooq said...

It's interesting you reference "V for Vendetta" since that movie got slammed for being 'sympathetic to Al-Qaida and terrorists worldwide. I thought it was very thought provoking and created constructive dialogue about current states of governments and security among other things. Great movie overall though!

Frances Billano said...

And that was a bad comparison, too. A mullah (or any man) having four wives is NOT any better than a Catholic priest raping poor little altar boys. In both cases, the blatant disregard for the dignity of the weak get reinforced by established religious hierarchy. You may not agree with me entirely, but remember that I speak from the inescapable experience of being a woman.

As to my "analysis" of your ranting: Yes, I have already observed that you rant only when others rant against Islam first. I know you only want to show them a mirror to what they are doing. I have done the same.

But lately I have begun to wonder about the EFFECTIVENESS of the "mirroring" method. DO we actually teach people about religious tolerance or compassion when we throw back the same venom (or engage in a vendetta)? Or do they walk away thinking they've been right all along about us war-mongering folk?

Imran Anwar said...

Frances, you know I respect your intelligence and your writing style.

However, this absolutely is the most un-intelligent comment I have ever seen from someone as intelligent as you. I am not quite sure why you are trying to shove in irreleant polygamy or male fidelity arguments in a discussion about the Pope's insulting comments, his fake "apology", etc. So, I did not make a comparison, but responded to your male fidelity related irrelevant comment with reference to what the Pope does nothing about, pedophiles from America who are promoted to sit next to him in Vatican City.

But, where you have totally shocked me in your opinion is.... You are saying that a PRIEST who is RAPING, I will repeat, R-A-P-I-N-G and SODOMIZING a 6- or 7-YEAR OLD is no worse than Hugh Hefner of Playboy or some Saudi prince with 4 wives or girlfriends or mistresses (by their free will and choice, not violence or threat).

Phew, if that is what you feel, what can I say.


James said...

Excuse me Frances, but you're only talking about muslims practicing polygamy? You might want to call the "Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints" or whatever they're called, they seem to love it as much as they do child rape.

No wonder their leader ended up on the FBI's most wanted.

Frances Billano said...

Dear Imran:

Phew. How you misread me. I WASN'T using polygamy in reference to what the Pope just did. PLEASE read my first comment again, CAREFULLY. I'm not sure why you ended up thinking I'd be stupid enough to make such an illogical jump in reasoning. I blame my lengthy prose. So I will rewrite it all in an ENUMERATED FORMAT:

1.) I think the Pope made a mistake. I am glad he's trying to make amends. I hope he learns to be more careful in his speeches so he won't be stupidly misunderstood (like I was!).

2.) I thank the Muslims who have accepted his apology. I hope the others who haven't eventually will, and give the Pope a chance to prove his sincerity.

3.) Re. polygamy: I brought this up NOT to justify the Pope's recent faux pas --- in fact, it had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE POPE AT ALL. Remember? I brought it up to introduce an entirely different SIDE COMMENT on your tendency to rant nastily towards those who bash Islam. I boldly asked if you could "please give more thought before penning your angry-American-immigrant-stream-of-consciousness rant towards the other religions...", for they would probably react by bashing Islam again (e.g. bashing Islam for polygamy).

4.) As to the comparison between polygamous mullahs and altar-boy-raping priests: YES, YOU ARE RIGHT. The priests are worse. However, that still does not make polygamy any better -- it's just a few points away from that. Women (and men) who freely agree to enter polygamous relationships usually suffer the same innocent compliant nature as little altar boys. I'm sorry, my friend, but this is what I believe. Thank you very much for being generous enough to post my dissenting comments.

Frances Billano said...

To James:
That would be "Church of the Latter-Day Saints". I think they're popularly known as the Mormons. Apart from vaguely knowing they don't ascribe to the belief that Jesus is God incarnate, I haven't studied or read anything else about the Mormons yet. So I don't know enough of their religion to comment on whatever it is you say they do.

Imran: Thanks again for posting my comments (however dissenting or digressing they might be to the original topic).

Imran Anwar said...

Dear Frances, thanks for the reposted comment above. Your presence and comments, dissenting or digressing or otherwise, are a privilege and pleasure to have on this blog.

I completely second your opinion no your enumerated list points 1, 2, 3 but not with 4. That is quite a stretch, and I personally think polygamy (actually MARRIAGE to several women) is far better than what society smiles at, people like Hugh Hefner having paid girlfriends in bed. THAT is OK but if he MARRIED them he'd go to jail. DOH. Comparing EITHER of those issues to a PRIEST literally RAPING a SEVEN YEAR OLD CHILD is still completely ludicrous.